After an auto loan is dischargedin bankruptcy, how long does the lender have to come and get the car?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011

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After an auto loan is dischargedin bankruptcy, how long does the lender have to come and get the car?

My Chapter 7 bankruptcy was discharged 14 months ago. We did not surrender the vehicle and the lender has not asked for it. How long a period of time do they have to get the car?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Usually in a bankruptcy proceeding where an automobile is an asset of the bankruptcy estate that is being paid upon by the debtor pusuant to a purchase agreement, loan agreement, promissory note and a security agreement for the note, the crediotr usually makes a motion with the bankruptcy court for possession of the security (automobile) before the bankruptcy debt is discharged.

In your situation since the creditor has not seen fit to ask for the vehicle back, it appears that the creditor has abandoned any claim for it assuming your obligation concerning the loan and the car was discharged in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Your options are as follows:

1. contact the creditor about taking possession of the car;

2. do nothing about the vehicle and continue to use it since the creditor has yet to ask for its return.

I suggest you do option number one.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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